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Alinghi is a coined name of the syndicate set up by Ernesto Bertarelli to challenge for the America's Cup. Bertarelli had raced several smaller yachts named Alinghi previously, but 2003 was his first attempt at the America's Cup. Alinghi successfully challenged for and won the 2003 America's Cup in Aucklandmarker New Zealandmarker and successfully defended at the 2007 America's Cupmarker in Valenciamarker, Spainmarker.

For the 2003 event Team New Zealand as the holder of the America's Cup, in consultation with Prada the Challenger of Record, removed the nationality rule which stipulated that all the crew members must be nationals of the challenging syndicate.

Alinghi took full advantage of this rule change and hired many of the world's top America's Cup sailors particularly from New Zealandmarker. New Zealanders saw the defection of key members of Team New Zealand to Alinghi as an act of disloyalty to their home country which was understandable against a background of strong nationwide public support for Team New Zealand which they saw as representing their country rather than just representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadronmarker.

After a series of discussions with Team New Zealand it has been announced that they will compete in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in 2009.

2003 challenge

Coinciding with the change in the nationality rules concerning the crew and in order to maximize the chances of success, Alinghi hired Russell Coutts the successful skipper and helmsman of Team New Zealand. Coutts had already won the America's Cup for New Zealandmarker in 1995 and he successfully defended for New Zealand in 2000. Along with Coutts came several other important Kiwi sailors, including Team New Zealand tactician Brad Butterworth. Grant Simmer, another America's Cup veteran, joined as managing director and head of design. Bertarelli served as navigator during the racing.

Apart from New Zealand, the Alinghi' team consisted of members from Germanymarker, the United Statesmarker, Canadamarker, The Netherlandsmarker, Francemarker, Italymarker, Spainmarker, the U.S.marker Virgin Islandsmarker, Portugalmarker, Turkeymarker, Irelandmarker, the UKmarker (from Scotlandmarker and Walesmarker), Belgiummarker, South Africa, Australia, Uruguaymarker, Argentinamarker, Denmarkmarker, Ecuadormarker and Switzerlandmarker.

The Alinghi boats for the 2003 challenge, SUI-64 (the race boat) and the SUI-75, were developed by the Alinghi team in close collaboration with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausannemarker specifically for the race. Alinghi also had a test yacht from the 2000 America's cup, SUI-59 (formerly called Fast 2000).

Alinghi raced to a 5-0 victory against Team New Zealand on the 2 March 2003, winning the America's Cup.

They guaranteed themselves a further stake in the history books by being the first team since the inaugural race in 1851 to return the Auld Mug to Europe and for being the first team to win the Cup on a first attempt.

Alinghi's vision was "to win the America's Cup, while earning respect and recognition as a world class sports team as well as sharing our passion". Ernesto Bertarelli is the President of Alinghi, as well as part of the sailing team.

America's Cup Management

32nd America's Cup 2007

As holders of the America's Cup following their win in 2003, Alinghi held the responsibility and benefits of defining the rules and structure for the next eventmarker. Bertarelli formed a private company called America's Cup Management to oversee the organisation of the next America's Cup including date, location, media rights, boat design, entry fees and all the key details required to conduct the America's Cup. Much of this work was done in consultation with the Challenger of Record -- the Golden Gate Yacht Clubmarker and its representative BMW Oracle Racing.

America's Cup Management announced on July 5, 2007 that they anticipate a revenue surplus of approximately 30 million euros will be available for distribution to the 11 participating teams to provide the teams some financial continuity and encouragement to plan their participate in the 33rd edition of the America's Cup. Under the term of the protocol issued by America's Cup Management for the 2007 event, 50% of the net surplus revenues are retained by the Defender (ie Alinghi) and the other 50% are distributed on the same basis as for the previous three editions of the America's Cup. Of the remaining 50% then 40% is divided equally amongst all Challengers, 30% is divided equally amongst all Challenger semi-finalists in the Challenger Selection, 20% divided equally amongst both Challenger finalists in the Challenger Selection and 10% to the winner of the Challenger Selection.

In summary, Alinghi received 30 million euros and the remaining 30 million euros was distributed to the challengers as follows:

33rd America's Cup

America's Cup Management announced on July 5, 2007 that the protocol for the 33rd America's Cup has been agreed between the Defending yacht club, the Société Nautique de Genève of Switzerlandmarker and its Challenger of Record, the Club Náutico Español de Vela of Spainmarker. However this arrangement did not survive a legal challenge from BMW Oracle Racing, who successfully argued that Club Náutico Español de Vela was not a valid Challenger of Record due to non-compliance with the terms of the America's Cup Deed of Gift.

After extensive court action, Golden Gate Yacht Clubmarker (whose team is BMW Oracle Racing) was declared Challenger of Record and is scheduled to sail against Alinghi, in February 2010 in Valencia, Spainmarker. The boats will be 90-foot multihulls. However certain issues remain subject to ongoing litigation between the parties.

2007 defence

Team Alinghi fired its Skipper Russell Coutts on April 27, 2004. Immediately prior to this, Alinghi (via America's Cup Management) changed the America's Cup Rules to prevent any team members from moving between teams until completion of the 2007 America's Cupmarker. Alinghi, as the then current holders of the America's Cup, were fully entitled to change the rule. Nine months later the conflict was ended with a short statement .

The sailing team was extended again and was led for the 2007 campaign by Brad Butterworth, Alinghi’s tactician and vice-president. Butterworth was highly experinced in America's Cup racing having sailed aboard the winning boat in the three previous competitions. Butterworth's team had many world-class sailors including Peter Holmberg, Ed Baird, Juan Vila, Jordi Calafat, Warwick Fleury, Simon Daubney, and Murray Jones. Jochen Schümann, winner of four Olympic medals, was the sports director for the sailing team.

Alinghi participated in all Louis Vuitton Acts, along with the 11 challengers from nine nations, before defending the America's Cup during the Match Race in June 2007. UBS, and BT Infonet have renewed their commitment to the team as Main Partners for the next four years, along with Audemars Piguet, SGS, Nespresso, MSC Cruises and North Sails as co sponsors. Alinghi's first America's Cup Defeat came on June 24 2007 when they were defeated by Emirates Team New Zealand in the second race of the 32nd America's Cup off Valencia.

After a series of close races between the seemingly closely matched competitors, Alinghi won their final race against Emirates Team New Zealand on July 3 2007, defending the America's cup with Five wins to Team New Zealand's two.

The official time given by the America's Cup website is one second winning margin for race 7.


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